1. My “best of” The Beatles

    I recently posted about how I didn’t really know The Beatles that well. I knew some popular songs here and there but never really got into them. I never had a Beatles phase as a kid. So, I decided to listen to their discography in chronological order. (Just The Beatles proper, not the post-Beatles solo projects.)

    I’ve now listened to all1 of The Beatles records2. I clicked the little heart icon in iTunes on each song that I liked. This is the list of my picks. I only listened to each record once. Obviously, I already knew of some songs. Though, not all of those made the list (eg, Yellow Submarine). The list is sorted by the album’s release year.

    These are just the ones the I like, not some measure of bestness or historical significance or technical ability or whatever. Please don’t email me about how wrong I am.

    1. I Saw Her Standing There : Please Please Me
    2. Boys : Please Please Me
    3. Please Please Me : Please Please Me
    4. Love Me Do : Please Please Me
    5. Twist And Shout : Please Please Me
    6. Please Mister Postman : With The Beatles
    7. Rock And Roll Music : Beatles For Sale
    8. A Hard Day’s Night : A Hard Day’s Night
    9. Can’t Buy Me Love : A Hard Day’s Night
    10. Help! : Help!
    11. The Night Before : Help!
    12. Drive My Car : Rubber Soul
    13. Good Day Sunshine : Revolver
    14. And Your Bird Can Sing : Revolver
    15. With A Little Help From My Friends : Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
    16. Back In The U.S.S.R. : The Beatles (White Album) [Disc 1]
    17. Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da : The Beatles (White Album) [Disc 1]
    18. Blackbird : The Beatles (White Album) [Disc 1]
    19. Birthday : The Beatles (White Album) [Disc 2]
    20. Come Together : Abbey Road
    21. Let It Be : Let It Be
    22. Get Back : Let It Be
    23. From Me To You : Past Masters Volume One
    24. She Loves You : Past Masters Volume One
    25. I Want To Hold Your Hand : Past Masters Volume One
    26. Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand : Past Masters Volume One
    27. Sie Liebt Dich : Past Masters Volume One
    28. I Call Your Name : Past Masters Volume One
    29. Slow Down : Past Masters Volume One
    30. Matchbox : Past Masters Volume One
    31. I Feel Fine : Past Masters Volume One
    32. She’s A Woman : Past Masters Volume One
    33. Bad Boy : Past Masters Volume One
    34. I’m Down : Past Masters Volume One
    35. Revolution : Past Masters Volume Two
    36. Don’t Let Me Down : Past Masters Volume Two
    37. The Ballad Of John And Yoko : Past Masters Volume Two
    38. Old Brown Shoe : Past Masters Volume Two

    1. for some values of “all” [^]

      1. Please Please Me
      2. With The Beatles
      3. Beatles For Sale
      4. A Hard Day's Night
      5. Help!
      6. Rubber Soul
      7. Revolver
      8. Magical Mystery Tour
      9. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
      10. The Beatles (White Album) [Disc 1]
      11. The Beatles (White Album) [Disc 2]
      12. Abbey Road
      13. Yellow Submarine
      14. Let It Be
      15. Past Masters, Volume One
      16. Past Masters, Volume Two

      [^]

  2. Toward an IndieWebCamp Logo Redesign Iterations in the key of C

    Previously on IndieWebCamp Logo Redesign

    I’ve been in the process of redesigning the IndieWebCamp logo. The last round of iterations ended with this version which had an admittedly not the best C in the logomark.

    No new attention has been paid to the logotype. Ignore that for now.

    Iterations of Rounded C Knockout

    Based on suggestions from the #IndieWebCamp IRC channel, I worked on rounding off the knockout in the C.

    Original version with rectangle and square corners knockout
    Iteration with rectangle and rounded corners knockout
    Iteration with pill shape knockout
    Iteration with taller pill shape knockout
    Iteration with longer pill shape knockout

    I felt like this read more like a C. It’s pretty fun, kind of looks like a racecar drive / astronaut helmet. And it’s pretty evenly balanced within itself and within the whole logomark. So at this point, I made the one color and three color versions.

    Tennis ball iterations

    But after a while, it started feeling like a tennis ball. I got some more feedback from the #IndieWebCamp IRC channel which led me down the path of using just a single cut for the knock out.

    Iterations of Thin C Knockout

    Here are four slightly different variations of the same idea. Rounded vs square. Half vs three quarters width.

    Iterations with single cut knockout

    The third one resonated best with the group. I like it too. So, I made the outlines and three color version as well.

    Final IndieWebCamp Logomark Redesign With Thin C Knockout

    Final (?) proposed IndieWebCamp logomark redesign

    If these versions are well accepted by the group, the next step is really nail down the logotype. Which is currently fine, but not that great.

    Again, direct any converation about this over to the IndieWebCamp wiki’s /logo page.

  3. In Response to @andigalpern’s IndieWebCamp Logo Redesign

    I published my IndieWebCamp Logo Study yesterday and posted it in the #IndieWebCamp IRC channel. And asked for feedback in channel and on Twitter.

    Crystal Beasley, the designer of the original IndieWebCamp logo, gave her approval of my redesign.

    @veganstraightedge @andigalpern @t @aaronpk As the person who designed the first one, I approve!

    @CrystalDBeasley

    Tantek pointed out that Andi Galpern had redesigned the IndieWebCamp logo as well some time ago. Andi re-posted it to Twitter along with some feedback of mine.

    Below is my response to Andi’s feedback on my redesign, as well as feedback on her redesign.

    Response to Andi’s Feedback on my Redesign

    Good W

    Andi tweeted:

    @veganstraightedge I really like your treatment of the “W”. I also like how you explained your process step-by-step. :-)

    @andigalpern

    Thanks! I was really happy with that too. It was one of my goals to make both keep the regular polygon geometricness while also making the forms read more like their respective letters. The W was a great success, I think. It no longer looks like a V, but still has that great triangle to it (twice even!).

    Andi again:

    “Indie” vs “Web”

    @veganstraightedge Also, I think the word “Indie” should be emphasized instead of “web”.

    @andigalpern

    I respectfully disagree. Lots of things are quoteunquote indie that we as the Indie Web don’t have much in common with.

    #indieauth (while also the name of our authentication startegy) is about book self-publishers. #indiebeer is beer makers. Indie Rock is just an aesthetic, having nothing to do with an ethos anymore (if it ever did). #indiegame is video games (mostly published to very closed platforms) built by one or a few people. Indie.vc is a slight twist on venture capital investment. Not to mention whatever that mess is over at ind.ie which is emphatically not indieweb.

    I believe that the communities and ethos that we (the Indie Web) have the most in common with are other web communites. Bloggers, open web, web standards. Folks like that who are most of the way there already. Getting a blogger to be indieweb is a matter adding rel-me to some links and owning a domain (not a sub-domain). That’s a pretty low barrier to entry. Whereas getting any kind of affinity with, say, an indie rock band or an indie game developer is a bigger hurdle to clear.

    For our purposes, all of the indie in the world doesn’t matter without the web.

    On a thinner I

    @veganstraightedge would you consider making the “i” thinner? IMO, It’s a bit too wide.

    @andigalpern

    Again, respectfully, no. I understand the logics of making it thinner to make it more like an I. But the trade-offs that come with that direction aren’t worth it to me.

    Those trade-offs, as I see them are:

    • The overall weight and balance of the logomark is shifted to the right and thrown off. Especially with that triangle in the middle that acts as a center point fulcrum. The whole thing tips to right now because the C’s circle is heavier than the I’s skinny (non-square) rectangle. (To be clear, I mean visually/optically, not just geometrically/matematically.)
    • If “indie” is the most important part that should get the focus (which I disagree with, see above), then by making the I thinner that makes it (and its corresponding word) less important.
    • Also, by making the I thinner, the word “indie” in the logotype gets even less aligned with the I which pushes the word “web” farther away from the W as well.
    • Finally, making the I thinner loses the squareness of it. I think the simplicity of [square, equilateral, circle] is really great. I tried to keep that in tact in my redesign.

    My feedback on Andi’s Redesign

    I remembered that someone had posted in the #IndieWebCamp IRC channel a logo redesign/refinement some months ago. Tantek reminded me that it was Andi Galpern.

    For comparison, I’ve included the current IndieWebCamp logo.

    I also took a stab at redesigning the @indiewebcamp logo. https://twitter.com/andigalpern/status/694939629175332864/photo/1

    @andigalpern

    I’ve included the image here. (The image is a little bit JPEGy because of Twitter’s heavy image compression. If I get a higher quality copy from Andi, I’ll replace this one.)

    I think Andi’s is definitely an improvement of Crystal’s original, but it doesn’t go far enough.

    The Good

    Here are the things I like about Andi’s:

    • The flat color are better than the grandient. I did a similar thing with mine.
    • The lowered white lines / dots gives better balance and makes the I and C read a little bit more like an I and C.
    • The logotype is better typeset in a better typeface. (I love Futura, just not at this weight.)
    • The spacing between the I and W and the W and C are more even.

    The Bad

    • The logotype is just a smidge wider than the logomark. Which could be tweaked and fixed if it was the only thing.
    • The white lines / dots, while lowered are at vertical center. The close but no cigar looks like sloppy clarity of intent. Are these just eye-balled or measured? Again, this is just a little thing that could be tweaked and fixed if it was the only thing too.
    • Like with the original, I think the black logotype with color logomark gives the wrong visual hierarchy. If you squint and blur the whole logo, it’s the black logotype that dominates, not the color logomark. I think that’s the opposite of what should happen.
    • The visual balance is thrown off to the right by making the I a tall thin rectangle insteadof a square. (Like I said above), the center point of the bottom of the triangle acts as a kind of visual fulcrum. The original is carefully balanced on that fulcrum. This one is tipped to the right.
    • Also, by making the I tall and skinny instead of a square, the words “indie” and “web” are no longer aligned well with their letters.
    • While I understand the intent of Crystal’s original logo, I’ve never thought that the square, triangle and circle read as I, W and C very much. Only if I thought about it and kind hand-waved could I see them as letters. By making the I a tally skinny rectangle, the I looks more like an I. But in the process, it makes the W and C look even less like a W and C. The I, W and C are one part letter and two parts shapes.

    Holding my own logo redesign up to the same criteria, here’s how I think I did (obvious bias):

    • I kept the geometriciness of the shapes while also improving the letteriness of the I, W and C.
    • Admittedly, the C is the least strong of the three. Removing that block from the knockout of the C turns it into a weird unpleasant shape and throws of the balance of the whole thing. Use a circle knockout turned it into a cresent moon. So, this was the compromise that I was most happy with.
    • The overall weight and balance of the logo is good and even, with or without the logotype.
    • It works well in black outlines, solid black or three color.
    • The word “web” is centered up underneath the W and the words “indie” and “camp” fall out evenly in both directions.
    • All of the shapes, sizes and distances were measured and used for a reason. None were eye-balled. (Again, those are little things could be improved easily in Andi’s redesign.)

    Conclusion

    Given all of that, and my obvious bias, I stand behind my logo redesign and would ask the IndieWebCamp community to approve and adopt it (using it on the wiki, at events, for stickers, tshirts, badges, banners, buttons, etc).

  4. IndieWebCamp Logo Study

    (Jump to bottom to see the final iteration of my logo study.)

    I’ve been a part of the #indieweb community for several years now. I attended the very first IndieWebCamp in Portland in 2011. I’ve always loved a lot about this community — its ideas and ideals, its technology and approach to new technology, its events and structure. Like anything, its not without flaws. Socially, technologically, structurarlly.

    One little thing about IndieWebCamp that has always bothered me a little is the branding in general and the logo in particular. And given my experience and ability, I felt like this was something that I could take a stab at improving it.

    * — as of publishing this article, 2016–02–02

    Current* IndieWebCamp (logomark and logotype)
    Current* IndieWebCamp (logomark and logotype)

    What I like about this logo:

    • the simplicity of it
    • the silhouette of the logomark forms
    • the colorway

    What I don’t like this logo:

    • the white lines with dots (too 80s “tech” looking)
    • the gradient
    • that the forms don’t read as their respective letters (I, W, C)
    • the spacing between I & W and W & C isn’t consistent
    • the logotype (weight, spacing, position, visual hierarchy, all of it)

    Dropping the logotype really improves the visual hierarchy of it.

    Current* IndieWebCamp (logomark and NO logotype)
    Current* IndieWebCamp (logomark and NO logotype)

    Sketches

    In the Notes.app on my phone, I sketched a couple ideas with my finger.

    My goals were:

    • to make the logomark read more like its letters (I, W, C)
    • re-use the regular polygons from current logo
    • get rid of the lines with dots
    Finger sketch in Notes.app
    Finger sketch in Notes.app (square I base)
    Finger sketch in Notes.app
    Finger sketch in Notes.app (square entire I)
    Pen sketch on paper (square I base and C with circle and square knockouts)
    Pen sketch on paper (square I base and C with circle and square knockouts)

    Silhouette

    The silhouette of the current IndieWebCamp logo is pretty good by itself. I would use this as a point of reference as I worked through different iterations.

    Current IndieWebCamp silhouette
    Current IndieWebCamp silhouette of regular polygons

    New IndieWebCamp Logo Iterations

    New IndieWebCamp sketch
    The I with square base and dot made of two squares. C made of two circles.

    I didn’t like the I or the C. The I’s split dot just doesn’t work and the C looks like an olive or a cresent moon or a Death Star.

    New IndieWebCamp sketch
    The I overlaid on a Golden Rectangle

    I overlaid the sketch on a Golden Rectangle to try to use it as a proportion guide.

    New IndieWebCamp sketch
    The I scaled to Golden Rectangle proportion

    I tried making the I’s square base the square of a Golden Rectangle and the overall I height commensurate to that square. I scaled up the C and stretched up the W. I also allowed both triangles of the W to be visible.

    New IndieWebCamp sketch
    Current IndieWebCamp logo's silhouette overlaid on new sketch

    I had lost the regular polygons of the current IndieWebCamp logo’s silhouette. So, I overlaid to head back that direction.

    New IndieWebCamp sketch
    Re-scaled to current IndieWebCamp logo's silhouette's size

    I scaled the IWC mark to match the current IndieWebCamp logo’s silhouette. Then used a rectangle instead of a circle to make the C’s knockout. The W also went back to opaque triangles.

    New IndieWebCamp sketch
    Removed current IndieWebCamp logo's silhouette

    I removed current IndieWebCamp logo’s silhouette.

    New IndieWebCamp sketch
    Horizontal Golden Rectangles in I anc C

    I rotated the Golden Rectangle 90° and used it to size the base of the I and the size of the C’s knockout.

    New IndieWebCamp sketch
    Removed Golden Rectangle guides

    Then I removed the Golden Rectangles.

    New IndieWebCamp sketch
    Guides for adjusting spacing

    At this point I was pretty happy with the direction the shapes of the marks, so I shifted to the spacing between them. I used the amount of the Golden Rectangle in the C that was overhanging the outer edge (while the rectangle was aligned with the center of the C’s circle) as the unit of distance between each mark.

    New IndieWebCamp sketch
    Solid one color version

    I made the marks solid black and thickened the separation lines in the W and the C.

    New IndieWebCamp sketch
    Three color version

    Finally, I got to where I could add some color. I chose three colors from the current IndieWebCamp logo. The left most pixel color in the I, the middle pixel of the W and the right most pixel of the C.

    At this point, I felt pretty happy with the three versions (outlines, black, three color). I posted up a little preview.

    New IndieWebCamp sketch
    Transparent Rectangle Golden in C

    After letting it marinate in my brain for a bit, I came back to it and decided that the C wasn’t working as a C. It read too much like a G. @snarfed mentioned this too.

    New IndieWebCamp sketch
    Golden Rectangle masked by C's circle

    I cut the edge of the Golden Rectangle that was hanging outside of the C’s circle. Which I like a lot better and it read as a C a lot more.

    New IndieWebCamp sketch
    Solid one color version

    I applied the solid black and thick separators again.

    New IndieWebCamp sketch
    Three color version

    I then added the colors back in. And now, I was really liking it.

    New IndieWebCamp sketch
    Outlines with logotype

    I added the word (hashtag) “#indiewebcamp” in Helvetica Neue Thin and Light. The versions I tried with lowercase, separate words and not as a hashtag all felt imbalanced. The three words are different character lengths and physcial sizes. The space between the words was either not the same or “web” wasn’t under the W. I made “web” the boldest to increase reability and because none of what we’re trying to do with IndieWebCamp is possible without the web itself.

    New IndieWebCamp sketch
    One color with logotype

    I had to thicken the logotype up a little bit for the solid one color version.

    New IndieWebCamp sketch
    Three color version with logotype

    Here’s the three color version with the same logotype as the one color version. The balance and weight is good, but I don’t love the combination of black logotype with three color logomark.

    New IndieWebCamp sketch
    Thicker lines outline version

    I then realized that if I thickened the lines of the outline version, I could use the same logotype as the other versions.

    New IndieWebCamp sketch
    One color with thicker logotype

    I then bumped up the weight of the logotype on the one color version as well.

    New IndieWebCamp sketch
    Color logomark with logotype

    I added color to the logotype too. But I didn’t like the I and “#indie” being yellow. They lacked the weight and their importance deserves. Especially given that indie is the whole point of this.

    New IndieWebCamp sketch
    Changed color order

    So, I flipped the colors of the I/#indie and C/camp. Which I think works a lot better.

    Before and After Comparisons

    Current and New IndieWebCamp logo comparison
    Current and New Logomarks

    Here’s the current logomark (above) and my proposed new logomark (below).

    Current and New IndieWebCamp logo comparison
    Current and New Logotypes

    Here’s the current logomark and logotype (above) and my proposed new logomark and logotype (below).

    I am proposing that we retire the current IndieWebCamp logo and use this new logo instead. Below are the outline, one color and full color versions.

    If accepted and adopted by the community, I would do a full work up and style guide about when (and how) to use each version. Additionally, I’d create horizontal versions and explore a square/circle version usable for avatar and icons.

    Final proposed new IndieWebCamp logo Final proposed new IndieWebCamp logo Final proposed new IndieWebCamp logo
    Proposed New IndieWebCamp Logos

    All discussion about this proposal should take place on the IndieWebCamp wiki /logo page.

  5. Popular Movies I’ve Seen in the Last 15 Years